Fergus - My first rotation in nursing school
was in geriatrics and I was sooooo scared! I remember the first patient I had. (I think I've told this story here somewhere before, so bear with me!!) She was a lady who had pathological fractures. Her regular nurse was thrilled to have a student taking care of her for the day, as she could be very "demanding." It took me about 37 hours to give her a bed bath!! As I had her rolled on to her side, I didn't realize that her face was in her pillow (she was still able to breathe!!) but I finally heard this little voice saying, "you're awfully slow, aren't you?" Well, being the emotional type and VERY premenstrual at the time, it was all I could do to finish her bath, get her dressed and myself out of the room before I broke into tears!!
Several weeks later we actually had to pass medications......can you believe it?!! I remember having to give a patient an aspirin and I thought I would pass out, I was so nervous!
Those were the days! I've since worked on a GI/renal floor in a hospital and in rehab. But, I've returned to Long Term Care. I love these folks. The work is tough, and I've never done so much paperwork in my life. Anyone who says it isn't "real" nursing doesn't know what they're talking about.
OK....I'm through lecturing!!